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Governor questions Jadavpur University students’ referendum

November 3, 2014


KOLKATA: Governor Kesharinath Tripathi on Sunday questioned the validity of the referendum of the students of Jadavpur University on issues such as the continuance of vice-chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti.

The univesity's arts students held a referendum on Friday, while its science and engineering students are scheduled to hold separate referenda on the same issue during November 11-12.

While responding to a question, the governor, who is also the chancellor of the university, told newspersons, "Questions are being raised about the validity of the so-called referendum. Therefore, it would not be proper for me to make any comment at this stage." The governor said this at an event of Calcutta University in Salt Lake.

Pressing for resignation of Chakrabarti over calling in police to lift a gherao and disperse protesters on September 17, the students had gone for a referendum on the issue. Chakrabarti, who was an acting vice-chancellor then, was tenured in the rank after the incident.

Governor Tripathi has never spoken on the issue after he chose Chakrabarti from a list of three candidates for the post of the university's full-time chancellor.

He had to walk a tight rope with the government backing Chakrabarti and the students and academics opposing his appointment.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee refused to comment on what Tripathi said. "How can I comment on what the governor said? I will not speak on the issue," he said.

About 99% of the university's arts students, who took part in Friday's referendum, had voted against Chakrabarti.

Faced with an embarrassing situation in which most students of his university have brought a no-confidence motion against him, Chakrabarti had lately made an attempt to break the deadlock.

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